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Last week a select group of 20 employees and guests gathered at an event space on the San Francisco Bay, and, while looking out at the Bay Bridge, dined on a selection of choice elk sausages, Wagyu meatloaf and lamb burgers — all of which were grown from a petri dish.

The dinner was a coming out party for Orbillion Bio, a new startup pitching today in Y Combinator’s latest demo day, that’s looking to take lab-grown meats from the supermarket to high-end, bespoke butcher shops.

Instead of focusing on pork, chicken and beef, Orbillion is going after so-called heritage meats — the aforementioned elk, lamb and Wagyu beef to start.

By focusing on more expensive-end products, Orbillion doesn’t have as much pressure to slash costs as dramatically as other companies in the cellular meat market, the thinking goes.

But there’s more to the technology than its bougie beef, elite elk and luscious lamb meat.

“Orbillion uses a unique accelerated development process producing thousands of tiny tissue samples, constantly iterating to find the best tissue and media combinations,” according to Holly Jacobus, whose firm, Joyance Partners, is an early investor in Orbillion. “This is much less expensive and more efficient than traditional methods and will enable them to respond quickly to the impressive demand they’re already experiencing.”

The company runs its multiple cell lines through a system of small bioreactors. Orbillion couples that with a high throughput screening and machine learning software system to build out a database of optimized tissue and media combinations. “The key to making lab grown meat work scalably is choosing the right cells cultured in the most efficient way possible,” Jacobus wrote.

Orbillion is co-founded by a deeply technical and highly experienced team of executives that’s led by Patricia Bubner, a former researcher at the German pharmaceutical giant Boehringer Ingelheim. Joining Bubner is Gabriel Levesque-Tremblay, a former director of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, who was a post-doc at Berkeley with Bubner and serves as the company’s chief technology officer. Rounding out the senior leadership is Samet Yildirim, the chief operating officer and a veteran executive of Boehringer Ingelheim (he actually served as Bubner’s boss).

Orbillion Bio co-founders Gabriel Levesque-Tremblay, CTO; Patricia Bubner, CEO; and Samet Yildirim, COO. Image Credit: Orbillion Bio

For Bubner, the focus on heritage meats is as much a function of her background growing up in rural Austria as it is about economics. A longtime, self-described foodie and a nerd, Bubner went into chemistry because she ultimately wanted to apply science to the food business. And she wants Orbillion to make not just meat, but the most delicious meats.

It’s an aim that fits with how many other companies have approached the market when they’re looking to commercialize a novel technology. Higher-end products, or products with unique flavor profiles that are unique to the production technologies available, are more likely to be commercially viable sooner than those competing with commodity products. Why focus on angus beef when you can focus on a much more delicious breed of animal?

For Bubner, it’s not just about making a pork replacement, it’s about making the tastiest pork replacement.

“I’m just fascinated and can see the future in us being able to further change the way we produce food to be more efficient,” she said. “We’re at this inflection point. I’m a nerd, I’m a foodie, and I really wanted to use my skills to make a change. I wanted to be part of that group of people that can really have an impact on the way we eat. For me there’s no doubt that a large percentage of our food will be from alternative proteins — plant based, fermentation and lab-grown meat.”

Joining Boehringer Ingelheim was a way for Bubner to become grounded in the world of big bioprocessing. It was preparation for her foray into lab-grown meat, she said.

“We are a product company. Our goal is to make the most flavorful steaks. Our first product will not be whole cuts of steak. The first product is going to be a Wagyu beef product that we plan on putting out in 2023,” Bubner said. “It’s a product that’s going to be based on more of a minced product. Think Wagyu sashimi.”

To get to market, Bubner sees the need not just for a new approach to cultivating choice meats, but a new way of growing other inputs as well, from the tissue scaffolding needed to make larger cuts that resemble traditional cuts of meat, or the fats that will need to be combined with the meat cells to give flavor.

That means there are still opportunities for companies like Future Fields, Matrix Meats and Turtle Tree Scientific to provide inputs that are integrated into the final, branded product.

Bubner’s also thinking about the supply chain beyond her immediate potential partners in the manufacturing process. “Part of my family were farmers and construction workers and the others were civil engineers and architects. I hold farmers in high respect… and think the people who grow the food and breed the animals don’t get recognition for the work that they do.”

She envisions working in concert with farmers and breeders in a kind of licensing arrangement, potentially, where the owners of the animals that produce the cell lines can share in the rewards of their popularization and wider commercial production.

That also helps in the mission of curbing the emissions associated with big agribusiness and breeding and raising livestock on a massive scale. If you only need a few animals to make the meat, you don’t have the same environmental footprint for the farms.

“We need to make sure that we don’t make the mistakes that we did in the past that we only breed animals for yield and not for flavor,” said Bubner.

Even though the company is still in its earliest days, it already has one letter of intent, with one of San Francisco’s most famous butchers. Guy Crims, also known as “Guy the Butcher,” has signed a letter of intent to stock Orbillion Bio’s lab-grown Wagyu in his butcher shop, Bubner said. “He’s very much a proponent of lab-grown meat.”

Now that the company has its initial technology proven, Orbillion is looking to scale rapidly. It will take roughly $3.5 million for the company to get a pilot plant up and running by the end of 2022, and that’s in addition to the small $1.4 million seed round the company has raised from Joyant and firms like VentureSouq.

“The way I see an integrated model working later on is to have the farmers be the breeders of animals for cultivated meat. That can reduce the number of cows on the planet to a couple of hundred thousand,” Bubner said of her ultimate goal. “There’s a lot of talking about if you do lab-grown meat you want to put me out of business. It’s not like we’re going to abolish animal agriculture tomorrow.”

Just as the pandemic was starting to hit last year, Hailey Swartz and Jason Rosenbaum, co-founders of Actual Veggies, took their idea for plant-only burgers to the Healthy Food Expo in New York.

It was March 2020.

“It was probably the last trade show in the U.S. before COVID,” says Swartz, president of Actual Veggies, a brand now known for its non-GMO verified vegan burgers. “It was our first foray and literally the last event we went to.”

That’s when Rosenbaum, CEO of Actual Veggies, and Swartz met the founder of Revolution Gelato, an organic, dairy-free gelato, who told them to apply for Big Ideas Venture Accelerator in New York. Applications were due two weeks later.

“We applied on a whim,” Swartz says.

They had never shipped their burgers before.

“At that time, our formula wasn’t binding,” Swartz says. “It basically arrived at the door of the general partner looking like soup. The message we got back was ‘It looks like the U.S. soccer team kicked it all the way across the country. Not eating this.’” It felt like a missed opportunity.

“The coolest thing is they still took us on,” Swartz says. “They really believed in the vision and believed in our pain.”

Soon, Swartz and Rosenbaum found themselves in the second cohort of Big Ideas Venture Accelerator’s $50 million New Protein Fund, which focuses on alternative-protein companies who make products or develop ingredients to be used in plant and cell-based protein alternatives and technologies. By the end of the year, Actual Veggies had a secured a broker who worked with QVC.

In January, less than a year after launching their company, Joel Davis, chief culinary officer for Actual Veggies, was chatting it up with QVC host Kerstin Lindquist.  Seven and a half minutes later, Actual Veggies sold out of $75,000 worth of inventory.

Here’s what Swartz and Rosenbaum have learned and want other entrepreneurs to know.

How did you get connected with QVC?

Hailey Swartz: Big Ideas Venture Accelerator brought a broker to us who was from QVC. We ended up going with Diane Rubizhevsky, a broker who reached out pretty much at the exact same time. It was on our radar to do later, but it wasn’t something we had thought to do this early.

She reached out in mid-November and we found out on Nov. 30 we were going to be on the Jan. 8 show. So it was really fast and exciting.

Jason Rosenbaum: Diane found us at Pop Up Grocer. They go from city to city and were here for a month and like to feature new products. That was the first time our product was ever on shelves. That was October 2020 in Brooklyn. Diane found us and reached out to me. It was weird timing since we had just been introduced to other brokers a week before. But we went with our gut and felt a connection with Diane so we moved forward with her.

What has it been like to work with Diane Rubizhevsky, who is a well-known broker for QVC?

HS: She’s incredible. We couldn’t have done it without her. Being a new brand, she really helped us navigate everything. She reached out to Jason on LinkedIn and we could just tell her passion for this space. She is genuine and authentic. She’s calm and patient and a really good person to be around. When we talked to her references, all new companies she had taken on right in the beginning and helped them get on QVC. She’s doing something special and helps us along the way.

What did you learn from doing the Pop Up Grocer before going on QVC?

JR: I’ve recently moved to California, but at the time, Hailey and I were both in New York. So we literally were hand-delivering the burgers to Pop Up Grocer. We had to get in an Uber and replenish every single week.

HS: We were told to think of it as a nontraditional retailer, as more of a museum where people come once. But we exceeded their expectations on sales because we sold out and were one of their top sellers. The repeat order rate was higher than they’d ever seen. People were returning two or three times to get our burgers.

How did you prepare your supply chain to make sure you could actually do QVC?

HS: So, there was a minimum that they had expected us to do in sales and that’s what we did. Obviously, there’s a risk if they don’t take on any of that inventory. We’re really lucky that we actually sold out and there’s a waitlist still.

Besides the Pop Up Grocer, it was our first order so it made us get our ducks in a row. It was a crazy time. It was December, so the holidays, in the midst of a pandemic and we went from doing trials with our co-packers to doing a $75,000 run. It was exciting to make it all work. To get the boxes and cartons, order ingredients, to do our whole entire supply chain in a month’s period.

JR: QVC took two of our burgers: the Actual Orange Burger and Actual Black Burger. We had a month and we had to scramble to make sure we had all the ingredients, to do the packing and the boxes to ship in. It was stressful to do our whole entire supply chain in a month’s period.

That’s insane. What’s the minimum order you had to do with QVC?

JR: I believe they said they anticipated we would sell $45,000 worth of goods but we had to hold $65,000 worth of goods. We ended up producing a little more than $75,000 worth of goods and those all sold out. We should have produced more.

How did you manage to get all of that produced so quickly?,

HS: This is why you need an amazing co-packer. Because of trucking during the holidays, it became impossible to get our burgers to our B2C center. So our co-packers in Denver and our distribution center is in New Jersey. And it wasn’t possible to get them there in time, based on the availability of trucks and everything going on with the holidays. Our co-packer turned into a distribution center for a week. Jason went there, printing labels, doing it all and shipping out. It was a really special experience and that’s why you need a co-packer that’s a real partner.

What do you wish you would have known about co-packers before starting?

HS:  Don’t try to make shortcuts with who you work with. For example, we were talking to several co-packers at the beginning. One was a little more expensive than the other ones. But they said they could work with us. The second one said, we can come in at this lower price but they weren’t going to be as hands-on.

We thought we could do it ourselves and went with the one that was a little less hands-on. Of course there was problems with the run. We were sort of taken advantage of and we weren’t helped. And the final product was inedible. We spent all this time and effort trying to make it work with these big guys who weren’t really going to grow with us.

At the end of the day, the money we spent on them, it would have been so much better to go with the ones who we had to go back to from the beginning. As we’re scaling, we’re already getting to a price that is better than the other co-packer.

QVC_2_with_chef_Joel_Davis.JPG.jpgHow did you know the co-packer was the right co-packer? 

JR: We had heard so many nightmares about co-packers. We found out they were the right co-packer by working with another co-packer that just didn’t work out. And we went back to them. It was trial and error. The first one didn’t work out and we went back to them to give these another chance. We decided to pay a little more to work with them and it’s been going smoothly since.

But it’s not an easy process finding a co-packer. A lot of them won’t even talk to small brands because they don’t anticipate the volume to be there.

The fact that we were venture-backed by Big Idea Ventures through that accelerator program really gave us a lot of credibility. We were introduced to co-packers by our investors. It really helped because co-packers have to take a risk on who they’re working with us because as a startup they don’t know how long we’re going to be around. It’s an investment on their part to just get up and running with us. So it’s trust both ways. The co-packer has to believe in what you’re doing.

Can you explain more?

JR: The first co-packers we tried working with, I don’t know if they really believe in what we were doing. They were a co-packer that didn’t make a lot of other products that were related to us, whereas our current co-packer in Denver [Aveno Antiguo], is really deep in plant-based and really believes in that.

HS: The owner of the current co-packer has become an advisor for us in the sense that we get on calls and they’ve had another veggie burger and he’s introducing us to his brokers, different accounts. He has a vested interest in seeing us succeed.

What else is important for other startups and small businesses to know about being on QVC?

HS:  One thing that is good to do is the inserts you can put into a box. It’s probably the first time these customers are going to see your brand. So make them feel part of that community. We included a card that had a direct way to communicate with me with any feedback.  And I was on top of that, if there was a problem or a compliment. Include stuff in the package to make it feel personal and make your customer feel loved.

What was some of the feedback you got from your customers?

JR:  It was kind of like a massive trial. There were tons of people trying our burgers. Not everything we received was positive. What’s great is we were able to react quickly and make changes. Some of the people said the burger wasn’t flavorful enough, it didn’t have enough taste. So our chef was able to go back to the drawing board and make some changes, up the spices and change some vegetables in there. We were able to make those changes at our co-packer. We sold 1,600 packages to 1,600 customers, so we got a lot of feedback. The negative feedback is what helped us the most.

What else did you learn?

HS: The other thing was we had three SKUs, a single pack that was 12 orange burgers and a single pack that was 12 black burgers and a variety pack that was six and six. if you’re going to have a variety pack, over-index on that, at least for the first exposure. I think we ordered equal and we should have ordered four to one. The variety sold immediately. We just didn’t know since we didn’t have any data. But moving forward we will.

What else are you changing next time around?

HS: We wanted to do this the first time, but we just didn’t have the time or resources. But this next time that unpacking experience is going to be even better. The outer box will be branded, it will be our color, it will have branded tape. That stuff to make it feel exciting when you get it.

How quickly did you have to ship out?

JR: We were on a Friday show. And I was out in Denver supervising the shipments, which we started shipping on Monday. So we pretty much got them all out on Monday and Tuesday. They all went two-day air. So customers got them Wednesday or Thursday. It’s a big quick turnaround and you have to be ready.

Alt-protein food tech accelerator Big Idea Ventures (BIV) announced this week that it is now taking applications for its fourth cohort. According to a press release sent to The Spoon, the five-month-long program will take place in three locations this time: New York, Singapore, and Paris.

For these accelerators, Big Idea Ventures looks for companies developing both plant-based and cultured protein products and ingredients. Food tech companies related to the alt-protein space are also encouraged to apply.

Beside $125,000 in cash investment and $75,000 on in-kind investment, chosen companies also get access to coworking space, including test kitchens, for the duration of the program, as well as mentorship and networking opportunities. Companies will also get to interact with BIV’s limited partners, a group that includes AAK, Bühler Group, Givaudan, Tyson Ventures, and others.

Chosen companies will ideally have an initial product already validated through sales and ready to scale. On the program’s website, BIV says it is looking specifically for companies developing plant-based products, cellular ag companies, ingredient creators, and those making enabling technologies.

Because of the pandemic, cohort four will be remote as of this writing. This is a tactic that’s been used by other food tech accelerators over the last year, and a trend that will likely continue for the foreseeable future. For BIV participants, this is actually advantageous, as the organization says companies can leverage resources from all three programs, even if they are only enrolled for one.

Those interested in applying to BIV’s program can do so here. Applications are taken on a rolling basis, which means the sooner the better in terms of turning one in.

New Protein Fund to invest US$200K each in attendees

The story: Big Idea Ventures’s (BIV) New Protein Fund, dedicated to seed- and early-stage investments in plant-based and cell-based food, ingredient and technology companies, is accepting applications from startups for its fourth accelerator cohort.

BIV has accelerator offices in New York, Singapore and soon in Paris.

How it will help: In addition to providing US$200,000 investment (US$125,000 in cash and US$75,000 through in-kind benefits), Big Idea Ventures’s (BIV) programme may also choose to invest up to US$3.5 million in top companies.

Duration: Five months.

More about the story: This is part of the fund’s mission to invest in and accelerate up to 100 plant- and cell-based companies worldwide.

Companies that will join the accelerator will also have an opportunity to engage with BIV’s partners, which include AAK, a global provider of plant-based oils headquartered in Sweden; Bel Group, the French cheesemaker; and Bühler Group, the Swiss food equipment manufacturer.

These limited partners and others will help participating companies in partnership, scaling production, co-developing intellectual property, and product improvements.

The New Protein Fund is targeted to raise US$50 million since its launch in 2019.

Global leader in food technology investment Big Idea Ventures is accepting applications from start-ups for its fourth accelerator cohort. BVI is dedicated to seed and early stage investments in plant-based and cell-based food, ingredient and technology companies.

Twice a year BVI selects the best alternative protein start-ups to undergo five months of “rigorous and dedicated support”. BIV invests US$200,000 in each company, with $125,000 in cash and $75,000 through in-kind benefits. Following the program, BIV may choose to invest up to $3.5 million in the top companies.

BVI founder and general managing partner Andrew Ive said the goal is to make sure the companies have what they need to succeed at scale. “We help these companies break barriers with product development, scale and distribution, market entry, channel development, pitching and fundraising,” Ive said.

Applications for the fourth cohort will be reviewed on a rolling basis, meaning start-ups can secure investment offers as soon as they apply. Ive explained offers are made on a first come, first serve basis, so spots in the program can be filled before applications close.

BIV has international limited partners participants can access including:

  • AAK, a global provider of plant-based oils headquartered in Sweden;
  • Bel Group, the French cheese maker;
  • Bühler Group, the Swiss food equipment manufacturer;
  • Givaudan, the Swiss maker of flavours and natural food ingredients; and
  • Tyson Ventures, the venture capital arm of Tyson Foods.

These limited partners and others help participating companies identify partnership opportunities including scaling production, co-developing intellectual property and product improvements, Ive said.

For more information click here.

Abby Lyall

Firm:

Big Idea Ventures

Firm Description:

I’m a Vice President at Big Idea Ventures focused on building out our Generation Food platform of funds. I’m currently focused on fundraising and deal sourcing for two funds: Generation Food, a $250M fund focused on Series A and later stage investments, and Generation Food Rural Partners, a $125M fund focused on commercializing university IP in food and agriculture.

 

Location:

New York, NY, USA

 

How long have you been investing?

I’ve been investing since 2016, when I joined Quake Capital Partners as their second employee.

What led you to where you are today? 

While I was at NYU Stern studying Finance and Computer Science, I (accidentally) fell into starting a company– an experience that showed me I wanted to work in the entrepreneurship space. After launching my VC career at Quake Capital, an industry agnostic seed stage fund, I realized that I wanted to do something more mission-driven, and find a way to combine my day job in venture with my passions for human health, animal welfare and fighting global climate change. In July 2019, I joined Big Idea Ventures as an early employee to build out the US presence for our New Protein Fund, investing in pre-seed and seed stage alt-protein startups from across the globe. In October 2020, I transitioned over to the Generation Food side of the business to help our CIO launch an exciting new platform of funds focused on technological solutions to assist large food corporations in meeting their sustainability goals.

 

What types of companies are you looking to invest in?

For the New Protein Fund, we invest in pre-seed and seed stage companies creating plant-based and cell-based replacements for animal products (meat, dairy, seafood, etc.). For the Generation Food fund, we are focused on Series A and later (rounds $10M+) companies focused on solving challenges in four key areas of the food system: water management, food waste, greenhouse gas emissions and plastic waste.

 

What do you look for in companies and founders?

The most important factor for us is a founding team that is qualified and knows the space, with leaders that are coachable and easy to work with. We also want to see that the company is solving a true pain point for the industry (not a “nice to have”) and has a solution that is highly differentiated from what else is out there. Beyond that, traction in the form of revenues or partnerships is also helpful when assessing a deal.

 

What can you help the VEGPRENEUR community with?

I’m happy to provide advice related to fundraising strategy and how to approach VCs, as well as answer questions on these topics for the Vegpreneur community.

 

How can the VEGPRENEUR community help you?

I would love to meet founders building businesses in the two thesis areas I described above, as well as other mission-aligned investors.

 

Fun fact about you:

I’ve been playing the piano since I was 4 years old!

 

Anything else you would like to share?

I envision a world where we can all find our individual passions and talents to uplift each other and live more connected with each other and the earth. 🙂

To support new and emerging start-ups that develop and produce alternative meat and dairy products, and to create further opportunities to work with some of the most well-known players in the alternative food industry, the AAK Group is part of the Big Idea Ventures’ New Protein Fund I invest.

This niche fund focuses on early-stage companies in the plant-based and cell-based meat, seafood and dairy products, as well as the ingredients and technologies that will fuel the growth of these categories.

© Big Idea Ventures

“By combining capital and partnerships, the New Protein Fund I aims to build pioneering companies in the plant, cell-based and alternative protein ecosystem and accelerate their business. With this investment, AAK is getting closer to the prosperous early stage companies operating in one of our most important growth segments. We will also be able to work with other fund partners and investors, including some of the most important industry leaders in the world, ”said Johan Westman, President and CEO of AAK Group.

“We are pleased that AAK has joined our world-class corporate partners as an investor in the New Protein Fund, as this will enable us to strengthen our reach in Europe and Asia. The partnership with AAK will provide expertise in ingredients critical to the production of plant and cell-based foods being developed by the world’s most promising entrepreneurs, ”said Andrew D. Ive, Founder and General Managing Partner of Big Idea Ventures.

NEW YORK, March 18, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Big Idea Ventures’ New Protein Fund, dedicated to seed and early stage investments in plant-based and cell-based food, ingredient and technology companies, is accepting applications from startups for its fourth accelerator cohort. With accelerator offices in New York, Singapore and soon in Paris, Big Idea Ventures (BIV) is the global leader in investment in the food technology sector. The New Protein Fund is targeted to raise $50 million since its launch in 2019.

“Twice a year we select the best alternative protein startups to undergo five months of rigorous and dedicated support,” said Andrew D. Ive, founder and general managing partner of Big Idea Ventures. “The goal is to help these companies break barriers with product development, scale and distribution, market entry, channel development, pitching and fundraising. We make sure founders and their teams have what they need to succeed at scale.”

Companies that join will have an opportunity to engage with BIV’s international limited partners which include: AAK, a global provider of plant-based oils headquartered in Sweden; Bel Group, the French cheese maker; Bühler Group, the Swiss food equipment manufacturer; Givaudan, the Swiss maker of flavours and natural food ingredients; and Tyson Ventures, the venture capital arm of Tyson Foods. These limited partners and others will help participating companies by identifying partnership opportunities including scaling production, co-developing intellectual property and product improvements.

As the company’s third accelerator cohort is currently under way, applications for the fourth cohort will be reviewed on a rolling basis, giving startups the opportunity to secure investment offers as soon as they apply. This also means that offers will be made on a first come, first serve basis, as spots in the program may be filled before applications close.

Big Idea Ventures invests USD $200,000 in each company, with $125,000 in cash and $75,000 through in-kind benefits. Following the program, BIV may choose to invest up to $3.5 million in the top companies.

The newest office location in Paris will be supported by BIV’s partnerships including Bel Group, Givaudan and the Bühler Group, that will provide companies with scale-up capabilities and growth strategy, mentors, advisors and investors through their European and global networks.

During and post-pandemic, BIV is leveraging technology to conduct the program and offer virtual support to companies. Support is available across BIV’s global network.

Entrepreneurs interested can fill out an application for the accelerator program.

About Big Idea Ventures
Big Idea Ventures (BIV) is solving the world’s greatest challenges by supporting the world’s best entrepreneurs. Big Idea Ventures develops the most globally strategic funds delivering significant investor returns while addressing real world challenges. BIV is focused on alternative protein with its New Protein Fund, and innovations in the food industry to solve challenges in waste, water use, plastic use and CO2 with its Generation Food Fund. www.bigideaventures.com

Media Contacts
Big Idea Ventures | Worth Sparkman, worth@bigideaventures.com, +1 479 236 0674

Would you like to try nutritious scrambled eggs that are not made using regular eggs? Wondering what we are talking about? Hold on till we reveal more. Without jumping on to labels like vegan or vegetarian, the alternative protein industry is looking at plant-based options for everyday consumers, and one such option is the plant-based egg.

“We are impact-focused entrepreneurs who want to make a change in the way people eat. But because of my hospitality background, I realised that bringing that change would not be easy unless you give them options that are delicious, affordable, and have some benefits. It is very difficult to change habits. That’s when Kartik (Dixit, co-founder) and I started working together. We decided to come up with an egg completely made from plants,” explained Shraddha Bhansali, co-founder, Evo Foods, which is offering “India’s first 100 per cent plant-based liquid egg”.

Eggs are amongst the most prevalent animal-based foods in India, consumed across regions and religions.

 

While Bhansali is a vegan who operates a vegetarian restaurant in Mumbai, Dixit — an environmental vegan (for three years now) — has previously worked in an online grocery delivery platform and cultivated a meat company (where he got familiar with greenhouse emissions owing to animal-based agriculture) before building Evo Foods, a company backed by Shark Tank CEO Ryan Bethencourt and Mark Cuban backed revolutionary pet food company Wild Earth Inc.

What is the liquid egg made of?

The plant-based egg extracts proteins from legumes and other plant sources to “create a clean protein” — resembling a beaten egg — which is touted to be an alternative to the traditional chicken-derived egg.

The liquid egg is made of chickpeas, peas, and mung beans. According to the company, one can use them in recipes like scrambled eggs, omelette, egg rolls, frittatas and more.

“The extracted proteins are processed in the texture of eggs. We wanted to showcase that simple household ingredients can give you the required nutrition wherein 100ml is 12 grams of protein — which amounts to two eggs, which almost equals an organic egg,” Bhansali told indianexpress.com.

EVO Foods,  

The co-founders Shraddha Bhansali and Kartik Dixit with latest product- plant-based eggs. (Source: EVO Foods)

Headquartered in Mumbai, EVO “uses deep food science” and advanced plant biochemistry to “create a sustainable yet delicious evolved egg replica without cholesterol, antibiotics or any animal cruelty”.

Interestingly, the co-founders derived the name of the company by tweaking the Latin word Ovo which means eggs to make it into an “evolved” egg.

 

The product, which has already gained international and local traction, is slated to launch soon in restaurants in Mumbai, followed by Delhi and Bengaluru, before being available for online purchase October 2021 onwards, shared Bhansali, adding that the price range would be similar to regular eggs.

“You can’t use the template of the West when it comes to our eating habits. Eggs are still in an interesting space where some eat them whole, others only in cakes or bread. But eggs are for everyone. We thought it is a great way to introduce Indians to plant-based revolution,” said Bhansali, who was featured in the 30 under 30 entrepreneurs list by Forbes in 2018.

New York and Singapore-based venture capital firm Big Idea Ventures (BIV) and AAK, the Swedish-Danish specialty oils and fats giant, has forged a new partnership to speed up the development of alternative protein ingredient solutions. Investing in BIV’s early-stage food tech fund, AAK will provide capital and its expertise to support the fast-growing cell-based and plant-based meat, seafood and dairy categories.

Teaming up with alternative protein focused venture capital and accelerator BIV, AAK Group plans to support startups developing crucial food solutions and create opportunities for potential collaborations with food industry giants, the Malmö-headquartered company announced on Monday (March 15). AAK will invest in the BIV’s New Protein Fund I, a fund for early-stage startups in the plant-based and cell-based protein, ingredients and technology space.

It will further collaborate with BIV to provide a joint platform to support the growth of the alternative protein sector, especially in the realm of ingredients, where startups can tap into the industry expertise and know-how of the AAK Group, as well as the group’s innovation infrastructure, which includes a newly constructed Plant-Based Foods Global Centre of Excellence in the Netherlands to open later this year.

AAK’s Plant-Based Foods Global Centre of Excellence in the Netherlands is set to be operational later this year (Source: AAK)

AAK gets closer to prospering early-stage businesses who are active within one of our key growth segments.

Johan Westman, President & CEO, AAK Group

“By combining capital and partnership, New Protein Fund I is targeting to build and accelerate future global companies in the plant-based, cell-based, and alternative protein ecosystem,” commented Johan Westman, president and CEO of the AAK Group.

“With this investment, AAK gets closer to prospering early-stage businesses who are active within one of our key growth segments. We will also be able to collaborate with other fund partners and investors, including some of the most important industry front-runners in the world.”

Niall Sands, president of plant-based foods at AAK, adds that the investment is part of the firm’s pivot in response to the rising demand from consumers in the wake of the coronavirus, which has brought into light the vulnerabilities and dangers of the animal supply chain and elevated health and immunity concerns.

Singapore Vegan Food Tech Karana Closes US$1.7M Seed Funding
BIV has backed Singapore startup Karana and its natural plant-based meat alternatives made from young jackfruit (Source: Karana)

“Driven by an increased focus on health, well-being, sustainability and climate concerns among many consumers, the long-term outlook for meat and dairy alternatives is very strong. By investing in BIV’s New Protein Fund I, we continue to demonstrate our commitment to future food innovation,” said Sands.

AAK’s partnership will provide expertise for ingredients that are vitally important to the production of plant- and cell-based foods being developed by the world’s most promising entrepreneurs.

Andrew D. Ive, Founder & General Managing Partner, BIV

BIV says that the partnership with AAK will accelerate the fund’s global footprint and assist startups who are innovating critical food solutions to meet the food challenges of the future as climate change continues to intensify. Among some of the most promising food techs that the New Protein Fund has backed include India’s plant-based egg startup Evo Foods, Australian carbon neutral vegan “veef” maker Fenn Foods, Singapore-based jackfruit meat alternative Karana, and French cell-based foie gras startup Gourmey.

“We’re pleased AAK has joined our world-class corporate partners as an investor in the New Protein Fund as it will allow us to strengthen our reach in both Europe and Asia,” commented Andrew D. Ive, founder and general managing partner of BIV. “AAK’s partnership will provide expertise for ingredients that are vitally important to the production of plant- and cell-based foods being developed by the world’s most promising entrepreneurs.”

To support new and emerging start-up companies developing alternative meat and dairy products and to create further collaboration opportunities with some of the most recognised players in the food industry, AAK AB (publ.) will invest in Big Idea Ventures’ (BIV) New Protein Fund I.

This niche fund is focusing on early-stage ventures within plant- and cell-based meat, seafood, and dairy products, as well as ingredients and technologies that facilitate the growth of these categories.

“By combining capital and partnership, New Protein Fund I is targeting to build and accelerate future global companies in the plant-based, cell-based, and alternative protein ecosystem”, said Johan Westman, President and CEO, AAK Group.

“With this investment, AAK gets closer to prospering early-stage businesses who are active within one of our key growth segments. We will also be able to collaborate with other fund partners and investors, including some of the most important industry front-runners in the world.”

“We’re pleased AAK has joined our world-class corporate partners as an investor in the New Protein Fund as it will allow us to strengthen our reach in both Europe and Asia”, said Andrew D. Ive, Founder and General Managing Partner of Big Idea Ventures.

“AAK’s partnership will provide expertise for ingredients that are vitally important to the production of plant- and cell-based foods being developed by the world’s most promising entrepreneurs.”

Partnering with BIV will give AAK an additional platform to support the fast-growing categories of meat and dairy alternatives. At the end of last year, AAK joined the MISTA innovation platform in San Francisco, USA. In addition, AAK recently announced its establishment of a Plant-based Foods Global Centre of Excellence in the Netherlands, set to be operational later this year.

“Driven by an increased focus on health, well-being, sustainability and climate concerns among many consumers, the long-term outlook for meat and dairy alternatives is very strong”, said Niall Sands, President Plant-based Foods at AAK. “By investing in BIV’s New Protein Fund I, we continue to demonstrate our commitment to future food innovation.”

The investment in the fund has no material impact on AAK’s earnings.

To support new and emerging start-up companies developing alternative meat and dairy products and to create further collaboration opportunities with some of the most recognized players in the food industry, AAK AB (publ.) will invest in Big Idea Ventures’ (BIV) New Protein Fund I.

This niche fund is focusing on early-stage ventures within plant- and cell-based meat, seafood, and dairy products, as well as ingredients and technologies that facilitate the growth of these categories.

“By combining capital and partnership, New Protein Fund I is targeting to build and accelerate future global companies in the plant-based, cell-based, and alternative protein ecosystem”, said Johan Westman, President and CEO, AAK Group. “With this investment, AAK gets closer to prospering early-stage businesses who are active within one of our key growth segments. We will also be able to collaborate with other fund partners and investors, including some of the most important industry front-runners in the world.”

“We’re pleased AAK has joined our world-class corporate partners as an investor in the New Protein Fund as it will allow us to strengthen our reach in both Europe and Asia”, said Andrew D. Ive, Founder and General Managing Partner of Big Idea Ventures. “AAK’s partnership will provide expertise for ingredients that are vitally important to the production of plant- and cell-based foods being developed by the world’s most promising entrepreneurs.”

Partnering with BIV will give AAK an additional platform to support the fast-growing categories of meat and dairy alternatives. At the end of last year, AAK joined the MISTA innovation platform in San Francisco, USA. In addition, AAK recently announced its establishment of a Plant-based Foods Global Center of Excellence in the Netherlands, set to be operational later this year.

“Driven by an increased focus on health, well-being, sustainability and climate concerns among many consumers, the long-term outlook for meat and dairy alternatives is very strong”, said Niall Sands, President Plant-based Foods at AAK. “By investing in BIV’s New Protein Fund I, we continue to demonstrate our commitment to future food innovation.”

The investment in the fund has no material impact on AAK’s earnings.

BIV has a global footprint with offices and accelerator programs in New York and Singapore, soon also in Paris. Please visit https://bigideaventures.com/new-protein-fund/ for more information on BIV’s New Protein Fund I.

By Avery Parkinson

 

According to the Human Rights Watch, 50.8% of First Nations Peoples living on reserves and 28.2% of Indigenous Peoples off reserve are food insecure in comparison to 11.1% of white families experiencing the same issue. The higher rates of food insecurity experienced by Indigenous families in general can be attributed to the fact that existing options are too expensive. 

Purchasing power on reserves is often too low to buy healthy food at an accessible price. For instance, in a study done by Food Secure Canada, in order to purchase the Revised Northern Food Basket (a list of all the basic food essentials in northern communities) for a family of four for the duration of a month, it would take 19% of the median income in Timmins, Ontario. In comparison, it would take 36% or 56% of the median income in Moosonee and Fort Albany, respectively – both of which are reserves. 

This pattern holds steady for many northern reserves, and is only emphasized due to the relative purchasing power people on those reserves have – i.e. income relative to expenses. As described in Invisible North by Alexandra Shimo, “If it were a country, Kashechewan’s income would be ranked at 104th in the world, below Iran (70th), Namibia (101st), and Sri Lanka (103rd). But these statistics do not give a true indication of Kashechewan’s poverty. In Iran, Namibia, and Sri Lanka, the salaries are low, but so too are the prices. In Kashechewan, the wages are low, but the costs are four times as high as in the rest of the country.” 

Photo 1. LaLoche Reserve, Saskatchewan, Canada Credit: Macleans

Such a significant disparity is the result of two main factors. First, the costs required to transport fresh produce to reserves are higher than they are to cities as the reserves are farther away from farms. In the cases where reserves are not accessible by road all year round, they must be contacted by plane or boat. According to Michael McMullen who is the vice president for the North West Company Grocer, “It costs typically one cent a pound to send stock to Winnipeg, and 30 cents a pound to send something to Iqaluit by sea, but it costs $1.27/lb to air freight stock to Arviat in southern Nunavut, and $3.65/lb to fly something to Clyde River in northern Nunavut”. Such an increase is compounded by the fact that on many reserves, one grocery store can have a monopoly on the market enabling them to charge higher than average costs without the pressure of competition. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Northwest Grocery Store has no competition in at least 70% of northern communities. As explained by CBC Manitoba, “The North West Company, through its NorthMart and Northern Stores, has developed almost complete control over every aspect of the lives of some First Nations people, their communities and their local governments.  A Northern Store can serve as the community’s grocery store, gas bar, post office, pharmacy, motor vehicle dealership, electronics and furniture retail sales outlet, supplier of doctors (Amdoc), tax preparer and even the bank, as it does in God’s Lake Narrows”.

Photo 2. Northern Store in Bearskin Lake. Credit: NetNewsLedger

However, simply explaining food insecurity as the result of remote locations and grocery store monopolies fails to capture the deeply rooted historical factors as to why such inequities have emerged. The reason many First Nations communities have come to be dependent on southern systems of food production is because their own traditional methods have been inhibited by colonization. 

Environmentally, the harsh weather conditions characteristic of northern communities make it difficult to cultivate anything other than naturalized vegetation for an extended growing season. However, endemic game and plants have often been the subject of commercial exploitation which render them scarce today. As a result of this, various levels of government have periodically instituted bans and moratoriums on certain species (cod, salmon, and seals to name a few) which completely restrict access for the Indigenous communities to farm these food sources. 

Perhaps even more significant than this is the loss of traditional knowledge. As Cherokee scholar Jeff Corntasel writes: “sustainability is intrinsically linked to the transmission of traditional knowledge and cultural practices to future generations. Without the ability of community members to continuously renew their relationships with the natural world (i.e., gathering medicines, hunting and fishing, basket-making, etc.), indigenous languages, traditional teachings, family structures, and livelihoods of that community are all jeopardized”. The residential school system which took place from the mid 1880s until the late 20th century attempted to eradicate such culture by assimilating children into Euro-canadian society thereby preventing them from inheriting and passing on that knowledge. Stories of children experiencing sexual, physical and emotional abuse, living and unsanitary conditions, being forced to participate in western tradition and being denied their own traditions are common amongst survivors. Due to the magnitude of the generations traumatized by this system, traditional knowledge is not as widespread as it once was, a fact which is only expedited as community Elders continue to pass. As written in Canadian Food Studies: “With the passing of each elder, the unique food history, personal stories and Indigenous food knowledge also disappears.” And so, as resources diminish, so too does the opportunity to share traditional knowledge wane. This positive feedback loop increases the vulnerability of Indigenous communities, exposing them to reliance on southern providers.

Photo 3. Dancer at the Calgary Stampede Credit: Canadian Geographic

In order to improve food security amongst Indigenous communities, we must mitigate its main inhibitors – namely, the inadequate purchasing power constituted by disproportionate food prices as a result of lengthy transportation routes and grocer monopolies, unfavourable environmental conditions and a loss of traditional knowledge. While there have been proposals to decrease the costs associated with transport, provide subsidies to Indigenous consumers or increase salaries, such approaches do not fully resolve the cultural component of the problem and so are not sustainable in the long term.

Rather, we must pay specific attention to increasing the transmission of traditional knowledge as such teachings have permitted Indigenous Peoples to live in harmony with the land since time immemorial. This ranges from growing and hunting practices to an intrinsic understanding and respect for the land. This set of knowledge also responds to otherwise unfavourable environmental conditions in a sustainable way, which is mostly unlike western cultivation practises. By being able to produce food using traditional pathways, communities can decrease their dependence on southern producers and increase their options. Such a concept of restoring the control of food systems to Indigenous communities is termed Food Sovereignty. This approach has additional benefits as food and participation in its cultivation is often regarded in Indigenous communities as healing – “food is medicine for the body, mind and soul”. And like many healing practices, it not only has potential to reinforce Indigenous food systems, but if done correctly, can help improve global food systems as well.

To learn more about Indigenous Food Sovereignty, visit: https://www.indigenousfoodsystems.org/food-sovereignty 

By Avery Parkinson

 

As promising as cellular agriculture may be for making our food production system more environmentally sustainable, ethical and healthy, the field is definitely not without its challenges.

The main challenge this technology faces is the cost — the world’s first cultured burger, which was produced by Dutch scientist Mark Post and his lab in 2013, cost about $330,000.

It currently costs around $50,000 to produce one pound of meat in vitro, and that’s mostly because of the culture media. Fetal Bovine Serum (FBS), which is probably the most important ingredient, can cost up to $1000 per litre!

 

 

Additionally, FBS comes from cow fetuses. Due to the (very painful) way it is sourced, it does not align with the ethical intent of cellular agriculture — to be unreliant on animals. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has devised a comprehensive list of plant-based substitutes for FBS– however, scientists maintain that fetal bovine serum is still far more effective than the proposed alternatives.

Why?

Besides the essential nutrients, most mammalian cells require things called “growth factors” to grow. In an animal, these growth factors are supplied by the animal’s blood, so using FBS is an intuitive way to conveniently source them all.

If we want to eliminate the role of the animal entirely, our current alternative is recombinant protein production which involves synthesizing each growth factor individually. This is usually very expensive.

But luckily, researchers are starting to demonstrate the effectiveness of “serum-free culture media” (media that doesn’t include animal byproducts) and are also considering how to produce them cheaply.

Continuing in this vein, as much as cellular agriculture aims to be unreliant on animals, since it by definition entails culturing a set of animal cells, we can not be completely animal independent. We can, however, limit the number of cells that we do directly take from the animal.

Ideally, we could improve the technology to the point where one group of cells produces all the meat we ever need! This requires sustaining one cell line indefinitely. Unfortunately, this is impossible because of the Hayflick limit, which implies that cells can not replicate forever. Satellite stem cells, which are just a specific variation of stem cells, can duplicate at most 40 times.

 

One way we can get around this is by creating stem cells called Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs). These cells are created by taking a normal specialized cell and editing its DNA so that it returns to being a stem cell — kind of like reverse engineering.

On the end of a DNA strand, there is a protective telomere cap. When our cells divide, these telomere caps get shorter and shorter until they are nonexistent and the cell becomes senescent cells — which for our purposes, basically renders them useless. When we reverse engineer our cells, we can make the telomere long enough so that it exceeds the Hayflick Limit and our cells are effectively immortal!

Beyond the actual technical challenges of cellular agriculture, there are also societal ones that may prevent finished products from reaching consumers.

Firstly, few countries actually have any set guidelines and regulations which govern the production and selling of cultured meat– although recently, the USDA and FDA announced a joint responsibility for cellular agriculture products with each organization overseeing part of the process. The Good Food Institute is assisting various governments in coming up with their own policies that can support the industry. For starters, many existing laws are somewhat problematic. For instance, when used in marketing, terms such as “meat” and “meat products” specifically refer to animal slaughter.

Then there’s public acceptance. As the technology is quite new and unfamiliar to people, it will take some getting used to in order for consumers to feel comfortable enough to want to buy it. Like with anything, this can be done through education and awareness. Organizations like CellAgri and Cell Based News aim to do this by keeping people up to date with what’s going on in the industry.

Once these challenges are overcome, we may one day see cultured animal products available at the grocery store. Luckily, there are a whole bunch of startups, non for profits, and research institutions working on solving them!

By Avery Parkinson

Cellular agriculture  is the science of creating animal products without the animal. There are two main kinds of cellular agriculture: “cellular agriculture” which is concerned with making products containing once living cells (like meat and leather)

and “acellular agriculture” which is about creating animal derived products (like cheese and milk).

For now, we’re going to focus on cellular agriculture (that is, not acellular agriculture). When we produce meat using cellular agriculture, we are said to be “culturing it in vitro”. This is done in three main steps.

  1. Stem cells are extracted from the animal. Stem cells have the potential to become many or all of the different types of cells found in an animal which makes them ideal for creating the different parts of meat. In the case of a primary cultureadult stem cells are taken from the reserves of an animal’s specialized tissues — tissues that already have a specific purpose (like skin or muscle) — and are called progenitors. In the case of secondary cultures, cells might be cryopreserved (frozen) from previous experiments.
  2. Stem cells are immersed in a culture medium and proliferate. A culture medium is a substance containing everything cells need to grow like carbohydrates, fats, amino acids, salts and vitamins. As these molecules diffuse into the cells, they grow and eventually split into two smaller genetically identical cells. In this way, our population of stem cells increases exponentially, or “proliferates”.
  3. Stem cells are put into a bioreactor and differentiate. Bioreactors are machines which expose the cells to a variety of different environmental cues — for instance, electrical stimulation and mechanical contractions. This encourages the cells to differentiate into the types of specialized cells we get in meat (like muscle, fat… etc). These myoblasts then fuse to form multi nucleated myofibers— i.e. tissue.

And bam, we have perfect steak…well, not quite.

This process would be just about where everything ends for unstructured meat, but not for structured meat. Unstructured meat is, as it sounds, meat that doesn’t have a real structure (like ground beef). Structured meat, on the other hand, is meat that has a specific composition of cells — it’s not just the type of cells that characterize it, but the arrangement, too (like steak).

Getting a particular arrangement is not reliable by just allowing the cells to float around in the bioreactor and crossing our fingers. So, we need something called a scaffold. A scaffold is a mold which the cells grow in and around to form the specific shape and structure of the meat. The proliferated cells are usually seeded onto the scaffold (i.e. attached to it) and then put inside the bioreactor.

Some popular scaffolding materials include decellularized plant tissue, chitosan from fungi or recombinant collagen. Researchers at the University of Ottawa and University of Western Australia have been looking into the benefits and downsides of each type, and found the following:

Decellularized plant tissue is abundant and has a great structure and texture. However, it lacks many of the growth cues deemed vital for growing mammalian cells.

 

Chitosan is abundant, and has antibacterial properties. It can also be blended easily with other polymers which suggests that it could easily be tailored to what a scientist is trying to grow. However, in the presence of lysozymes (a naturally occurring enzyme), chitosan will start to break down in unpredictable ways.

Recombinant collagen is highly biocompatible but is hard to produce and source.

All of these scaffold variations are favoured by researchers because of their commonality: they can be produced by plants or fungus, and are hence unreliant on animals.

So there, now we have our perfect steak. Well again…there’s more.

We may have a nicely structured cut of meat, but now we have a scaffold in it. Scientists have proposed using edible scaffolds, but since the whole idea behind the cultured meat is to perfectly replicate meat, scientists are leaning towards figuring out a way to make biodegradable scaffolds. But this in itself introduces some new issues, most notably the rate of decay. If our scaffold literally disappears while the meat is growing on it, it kind of defeats the purpose.

Now, of course, this entire process is easier said than done. Key challenges include the cost of the culture media, media composition, finding biomaterials that are compatible for scaffolding, commercial regulations and of course, public perception. But, there are a number of startups working to overcome these obstacles so that hopefully, the technology will become more mainstream.

By Patrick Woloveck

In today’s rapidly changing startup capital landscape, it is challenging for early stage entrepreneurs to structure the most efficient capital stack. Since I started focusing my career on alternative capital in 2018, it has been really interesting to see the conversation change about raising capital. As an (admittedly biased) champion for non-dilutive capital, I thought it would be valuable to share my experience. While not top of mind for many founders, these options can be leveraged to build your food startup alongside venture capital. To cover a broader spectrum, I also tapped into my network to leverage experts in their respective niches. Hopefully, this can serve as a small resource that yields the most money in your pocket after that BIG EXIT…

Invoice Factoring

My company, VendorTerm, provides non-dilutive growth capital to startups. Traditionally, our model is defined as invoice factoring. If you have invoiced a big retailer for payment due in 60 days, VendorTerm will provide you a high percentage of the value of that invoice in cash upfront in return for receiving that total invoice payment in 60 days. We make money on the spread between. Managed properly, high-margin startups can ride this model all the way to exit without raising equity.

 – Pros: Non-dilutive, quick, flexible, no commitments, scalable

 – Cons: High cost of capital compared to a traditional loan

 – Dilution: 0%

 – My takeaway: The pushback against factoring is around comparing our cost to the APR of a term loan. That’s not an apples to apples comparison, as invoice factoring vs. term loans have vastly different risk profiles. Mainly, banks who offer loans have forms of recourse in the form of collateral, covenants, warrants, etc. The majority of factoring deals are non-recourse, meaning we hold all the risk in the event of default. This risk is priced accordingly, hence the wide discrepancy in cost of capital. Factoring serves more as an “a la carte” option on your capital menu which, in my experience, works well for startups who also like to be nimble. There is an opportunity cost to all financial decisions and ultimately the CEO makes the most fiduciary responsible decision for shareholders. Businesses with enterprise contracts, orders, and invoices that proactively manage cash by factoring receivables will reap the rewards many multiples over when it comes time to exit.

PO Finance

As you scale, your rocket ship food startup will receive purchase orders from big retailers prior to you ultimately invoicing them. You likely will not have ample inventory on hand, so you’ll need capital to pay suppliers in order to meet this new demand. Enter PO Financing. On the surface level, the deal is structured similarly to a factoring deal; however, due to increased supply chain risks, the terms are less straightforward.

 – Pros: Still faster than going to the bank. Risk is passed along to the PO Finance provider.

 – Cons: Your customers will be paying the PO Finance company directly

 – Dilution: 0%

 – My takeaway: This is a great short term solution. I would recommend reaching out to multiple firms, familiarizing yourself with the market, and having the best partner lined up before receiving the first purchase order from the big retailer. Many product focused startups combine both PO Finance & Invoice Factoring to combat cash flow hurdles while scaling.

Working Capital Loan

“A working capital line of credit is beneficial because it allows for the funds to be used for short term capital needs to help with the day-to-day cash flow of the business. They are a good way to fill seasonal or unpredictable gaps in the cash flow of business operations to cover payroll, miscellaneous maintenance, fill gaps between receivables, etc.”

– Brad Johnson / Director, Business Banking / First Republic Bank

When is a working capital loan applicable? All banks are going to have different standards and requirements, but net income will be much more important here than top line revenue. A good benchmark for the loan size is ~10% of net income, but it could be greater depending on the lender.

 – Pros: There is flexibility with a line of credit so you are only drawing funds on an as needed basis, and you are only paying interest while the funds are outstanding. While it is easier to get working capital lines from non-bank lenders, there will almost always be higher closing fees and interest rates.

 – Cons: Banks will typically be much more conservative with their lending standards, so for a startup, a bank will typically like to see 2-3 years at a minimum of consistent cash flow, and often will require a personal guarantee on the line of credit. Working capital lines can also fall short of your capital needs if you are looking for debt for long term accelerated growth.

 – Dilution: 0%

 – My takeaway: If you can get it, take it. Brad does a great job summarizing the tradeoffs of securing capital from a non-bank vs. traditional bank lender. IMO, this variety in options ultimately creates a win/win for the startup ecosystem. As lenders can optimize economics based on specific company niches and verticals, founders reap the rewards instead of a one size fits all capital product.

Venture Debt: 

“Venture Debt is non-dilutive financing that companies can take on outside of raising equity. It gives you the ability to top off additional capital without being dilutive in order to extend runway, or can be an insurance policy when you don’t really need the capital.”

-Ruslan Sergeyev SVP, Venture Lending PacWest

We also interviewed Ruslan last year about when and why founders should optimally take on Venture Debt.

 – Pros: Lots of variations available, not one size fits all

 – Cons: Typically only offered on top of an equity round. Later stage. Minor dilution. More financial covenants depending on terms.

 – Dilution: <5%

 – My takeaway: The big takeaway that Ruslan consistently stressed was timing– the best time to consider Venture Debt is probably when you don’t need it. This is a principle that gets lost in the shuffle of the busy everyday life that comes with running a company. Just think about how many companies this year wish they had taken that extra capital insurance policy. Similar to my thoughts on PO Financing– I highly recommend reaching out to several firms in the market to familiarize yourself with the landscape. Some of the main players in this space include PacWest, SVB, and Signature Bank among others.

In summary, hindsight is 2020. The year is also 2020, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s to plan for the unexpected. Given the tremendous amount of uncertainty in the days, months, and year ahead, it is your job as a founder to be well versed in all the capital options available to you.

Tell us about yourself! What’s your origin story?

I was born in Brooklyn, New York and I come from generations of artists, businessmen & chefs. By the time I was 4 years old, I already had professional TV & stage credits as a child actor.

Both sides of my grandparents owned restaurants, supermarkets, delis, and commissary facilities. So, I found myself always around food & business. Growing up in South Brooklyn was an education in itself. Living in the toughest neighborhood in the 1970’s led me into the boxing ring at the age of 13. I worked various jobs in and out of food and was inspired by the many different cultures & foods found in my neighborhood. At IBM, I invented the Dip Module counting scale and was rewarded generously for my invention. After that, I headed back into the kitchen and finally knew it was my calling to become a chef. I spent over 16 years in the hotel industry and then entered the world of food manufacturing, where I became recognized as an expert.

 

What was the shift into manufacturing like?

It was a good move for me because I had a skill set many did not have in the manufacturing world.

My rare skill set allowed me to climb to the top of the industry and allowed me to start my own company. Realizing there was a need for services in the co-packing world, my company Ricardo Food Group was formed to fill a void in the co-manufacturing, co-packing and private label manufacturing marketplaces. By providing focused solutions, quality, efficiency, and the appropriate direction to our clients, Ricardo Food Group became one of the first advisory consulting firms to specialize in the co-manufacturing, co-packing & private label through the eyes of manufacturing experts.

 

What are some causes you are passionate about?

I am a proud board member of the non-profit Luv Michael Bakery founded by Doctor Lisa A. Liberatore; this bakery is committed to creating and providing meaningful culinary jobs to the autistic population. We train, educate, and employ individuals on the autism spectrum at Luv Michael, and the profits from Luv Michael aid in the growth of our business and allow us to develop new training modules for our employees. We have a great team – Kim Diaz heads Operations and Master Chef Nickie oversees bakery production. It’s a joy for me whenever I get a chance to work with everyone in the kitchen there; we have a lot of fun for a good cause.

 

What is your favorite part of running your own company and helping entrepreneurs create their own products?

 My favorite part is not taking crap from anyone. I only want to work with people who are serious and mean business. We have no time for games. When I go to sleep, I want to wake up happy to continue working on your business. If I cannot feel that, then we should reconsider our working relationship. There is a greater sense of pride and independence when you are in business. It’s a great accomplishment to say “these are my companies” and  “these are my business partners” and so on.

 

Where do you see the alternative protein space going in the next 10 years? What changes are occurring in the food industry?

In 10 years, every single restaurant, food establishment, food service company, airline, catering facility, and franchise will have at least 35 % to 40 % plant-based products in their portfolio. Even an ice cream truck coming down a city street will have at least 35 % of their options be plant-based. Supermarkets and convenience stores will hit it big with whole aisles dedicated to plant-based lines. In 25 years, it will not be a choice; it will be your only option in many places.

 

What are some cool trends and new opportunities you have noticed through your work? 

The ability to test your brand quickly through online platforms is incredibly helpful and everyone should utilize this format. You can find out so much so fast about your product testing online before you go into CPG, which gives you many new opportunities. If you create a costing sales history chart and monitor the activities just from a few online platforms selling your product line, you can find out important metrics that will help make your CPG line successful. This method will teach you the do’s & don’ts for your product and business.

 

What are you reading these days? 

I have read hundreds of cookbooks over the years, but what I truly enjoy reading are screenplays. It’s one thing to see the movie, but when you read the script it was made from, it’s a whole other experience and way to see it. Right now, I am reading Tales of Manhattan, which was written in 1941 and made into a film in 1942. It’s a must-see movie and I recommend it to all entrepreneurs. It’s a great lesson about people and how we misjudge each other.

 

Any advice or words of wisdom for early stage entrepreneurs?

  1. Stop procrastinating, get up, and make it happen. I had no business plan, money, or clue in the world how to start, but I jumped right into it and figured it out as I went along.
  2. Your friends and family can be your worst critics. Dismiss the haters and dream crushers.  Stop wasting time worrying about what others think.
  3. Don’t sit around waiting for answers. I would send out 2000 personalized emails a week just to get back 2 or 3 replies. Networking is about the numbers and being proactive.
  4. Stop asking for permission with a question mark, because it is a sign of weakness.

 

Bad  Example: Is it alright if I call you? You are giving the customer an out with the question mark (?) and asking for permission.

Good ExampleJohn, I am setting up calls for next Wednesday & Thursday– let me know which day works for you. This statement (instead of a question) conveys a sign of power, confidence, and the will to work with them. So, don’t ask; you must learn to make customers feel reassured you are a sure thing in a polite format.

 

  1. Relationships, relationships, and relationships; you must master building relationships in order to build a successful company.

 

Being an entrepreneur is not a job, it’s a way of life. Your many sacrifices will eventually pay off years later. Learn everything you can about what you are doing, the product, and the industry. Don’t stop learning about your competitors and customers. Focus on building relationships. Don’t connect with people in hopes of using them or getting something from them. Do not let others intimidate you; many will try to do it. Be strong, and remember that you are smart and have power already. Remember the three E’s:

  • Extraordinary – stand out by being unusual and remarkable.
  • Eunoia – strengthen your skills to be a great communicator and speaker
  • Embody – establish a concrete and visible form to your ideas, set quality feelings and be competitive in spirit.

 

 

 

 

 

Ricardo Cordero, President & CEO of Ricardo Food Group, has more than 40 years’ experience in all aspects of bakery, food, beverage products and processes. He is a renowned expert in Co-Manufacturing, Co-Packing & Private Label, Former Executive Chef, Former Manufacturing methodology process expert and current Manufacturing Specialist. His hobbies include antique camera collecting and he is considered by many Chefs and food-service professionals as an outstanding Pizza Connoisseur and Innovator.

Ricardo Food Group is a Multi-Company Holding sourcing company for all your co-packing & private label needs. We have formed alliances with 475 US-based food, beverage & bakery manufacturing facilities. Ricardo Food Group is an advisory firm made up of Manufacturing & Production Expert Consultants in the food, bakery and beverage industry. Serving as consultants to businesses regarding partnerships, investors, mergers, performance base equity and acquisitions, leveraged and management buyouts, debt restructuring, capital firm investments, entrepreneur’s investment, and commercial banking investments.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/ricardo-cordero-832a19a4/                                                        www.ricardofoodgroup.com

Anjali Agarwal

 

The world reckoned with COVID-19 over the last several months as lockdowns were instituted, and as people globally experienced drastic changes to their daily lives, consumers’ spending habits changed in stride. Among these changes include an increase in spending on groceries, while spending on other categories, such as entertainment and travel, naturally decreased. Not only has spending on groceries increased overall, but specific food categories have seen remarkable e-commerce growth as consumers stock up their pantries with shelf-stable items. Of the top 15 product categories that saw the highest e-commerce growth in the year since March 2019, one-third are food items, which include soups, rice and dried grains, and packaged foods. In terms of habits, the pandemic has certainly changed the way we think about, engage with, and prepare our snacks and meals, according to the 2020 Food and Health Survey. This survey was conducted during a week in April 2020 and found that over 80% of respondents changed their eating habits due to the pandemic. The most common change, by far, is that people are cooking more than before, as well as snacking far more than before.

 

Shift Towards Ethical and Sustainable Eating

So, how exactly have our diets changed temporarily, if not permanently? Here at Big Idea Ventures, we are particularly curious about the increased interest in and consumption of plant-based and alternative protein products. In fact, some experts believe that the pandemic has accelerated growth in the adoption of vegan diets. As such, it’s no surprise that two of the largest companies in the alternative protein space have performed well during the pandemic – Impossible Foods increased its retail and supermarket presence from 200 stores in January of this year to over 3,000 by May, and Beyond Meat has experienced a strong financial performance, with revenues up 141% from the previous year.

According to the Food and Health Survey conducted in April 2020, 28% of consumers had increased their consumption of plant-based proteins and 24% had increased their intake of plant-based dairy at that point in time, as compared to a year ago. Interestingly, individuals who were following a diet or were under the age of 35 were more likely to have increased their consumption of either plant-based proteins or dairy this past year. This highlights an interesting opportunity for companies in this space to develop products for and target individuals that follow diets, in order to achieve greater traction and increase customer loyalty.

 

What’s Driving the Increased Interest in Plant-Based Protein?

Several reasons explain why we’re seeing shifts in consumption habits towards a greater intake of plant-based protein, including global food supply chain inefficiencies and a newfound desire for consumers to do something altruistic in times of significant global stress and uncertainty. The coronavirus originated from animals, and that, too, has been a driver for greater consumer awareness regarding meat alternatives. Meat shortages across the country, as well as the negative health impact on employees at crowded meat processing facilities, have also inspired consumers to search for alternatives. And finally, the environmental effects of the pandemic, which include the largest drop in greenhouse gas emissions in history, continue to highlight and reinforce the meat industry’s notoriously high environmental cost. These reasons will drive consumers’ decisions to continue or discontinue the changes in diet made during the pandemic, and as such, it remains to be seen whether the changes in diet brought upon by the health crisis will last.

 

Negative Impacts of COVID-19 on Plant-Based Protein

While there’s been a greater interest in plant-based products over the last several months, there are still several challenges the industry must overcome if these products are to become a staple in people’s kitchens. First, the demand for traditional meat remains exceedingly high, even during the current health crisis. Additionally, plant-based alternatives typically have a higher price point than traditional meat, and while consumers are currently spending more on groceries than they normally would according to a recent McKinsey study, it remains to be seen whether this pattern will continue post-pandemic, especially if and when people return to their normal spending levels for discretionary, non-essential items as well.

Furthermore, prior to the pandemic, restaurants were expected to play a central role in bringing plant-based proteins to consumers nationally, following the increasing popularity of meat-free options when dining out. The National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Industry 2030 report found through its national survey of restaurant experts that plant-based proteins would be the second most important trend in the restaurant industry over the next ten years. The pandemic, however, has devastated the restaurant industry. A recent report by Yelp found that of all the restaurants that have closed due to COVID-19, 60% have closed permanently. Whether these closures were a direct result of the pandemic or due to larger trends in an exceedingly tough industry, the restaurant industry has faced one of its more significant setbacks. This, in turn, limits plant-based companies’ ability to expand and increase consumer awareness through restaurant channels.

For the time being, however, the FDA has loosened food labeling guidelines that now allow restaurants to sell their excess inventory directly to consumers, which has been a much-needed additional revenue stream for many restaurants and a way to minimize food waste. For instance, large plant-based companies like Impossible Foods have been able to see their restaurant partners successfully sell bulk quantities of their flagship plant-based protein directly to consumers. However, this policy is in effect for the duration of the public health crisis, and as such is not a long-term solution for plant-based companies looking to easily reach consumers through restaurants.

     Moving into the post-pandemic world, plant-based and alternative protein companies will likely need to reevaluate and rethink fundamental aspects of their business, including their understanding of their target consumers, the sustainability of their supply chain, and the optimal channels through which they hope to reach the maximum number of consumers.

 

 

Further reading: 

  1. https://www.visualcapitalist.com/shoppers-buying-online-ecommerce-covid-19/
  2. https://foodinsight.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/IFIC-Food-and-Health-Survey-2020.pdf
  3. https://modernrestaurantmanagement.com/covid-19-is-the-opportunity-plant-based-alternatives-have-waited-for/
  4. https://www.forbes.com/sites/abigailabesamis/2020/06/10/new-survey-reveals-covid-19s-impact-on-american-food-habits/#6aad18316a77
  5. https://www.plantbasednews.org/culture/-covid-19-accelerating-vegan-trend-top-data-firm
  6. https://www.healthline.com/health-news/more-people-eating-plant-based-protein#Why-the-increased-interest-in-plant-based-protein?
  7. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-06-05/half-of-americans-want-meat-free-options-after-industry-s-crisis?sref=Hhue1scO
  8. https://www.foodnavigator.com/Article/2019/10/17/Plant-based-boom-faces-sustainability-and-nutrition-challenges
  9. https://www.restaurant.org/articles/news/plant-based-protein-is-here-to-stay
  10. https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/marketing-and-sales/our-insights/a-global-view-of-how-consumer-behavior-is-changing-amid-covid-19#
  11. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200709141538.htm
  12. https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/25/business/restaurants-reopen-coronavirus-shutdown-trnd/index.html
  13. https://www.fda.gov/media/136469/download
  14. https://impossiblefoods.com/announcements/impossible-foods-collaborates-with-cheetah-to-adapt-to-covid-19/

Tell us about yourself! What’s your origin story?

I am a first generation American from New York City. Born to working class parents from the Caribbean islands of Grenada and Jamaica, I was raised with a strong work ethic and an emphasis on education. At the age of 13, I was very fortunate to get recruited to attend Trinity School on Manhattan’s Upper West Side by a non-profit called the Oliver Scholars Program which matches high-achieving Black and Latino students with some of the nation’s leading private schools.

My Trinity experience was a foundational one. Not only did I learn to think outside the box in deeply critical and thoughtful ways, but it was there that I first came face to face with glaring inequities as a function of race and class, traversing an elite K-12 institution — now in its fourth century — by day, and shuttling back to my insular, predominantly black, working class Brooklyn neighborhood by night. It was at Trinity that I began grappling with the concept of food democratization, recognizing the link between nutrition and public health and beginning to question the drivers that lead to disparate outcomes both in the US and globally.

I graduated from Trinity School in 2001 and headed off to Dartmouth College, graduating in 2005. I then proceeded straight to law school at Cornell, graduating in 2008.

Today, I am Special Counsel at global law firm Foley & Lardner LLP, resident in the Firm’s Washington DC office. Foley is a leading US-based law firm with over 1,100 lawyers practicing in virtually all areas of law. My practice focuses on Food & Drug Law with an emphasis on food technology. I counsel companies through every stage of the production and distribution lifecycle – from premarket clearance through manufacturing, advertising, labeling, recalls and unanticipated regulatory scrutiny. I have authored and co-authored a number of timely articles on trending legal issues and I’ve been quoted by The Wall Street JournalForbes, and Food Navigator-USA, among other leading publications.

How did you get involved in the food space?

I remember the first time I stepped into a supermarket on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, near Trinity School. The fresh fruit, meat and vegetable offerings were staggering in comparison to my neighborhood grocery in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. At the time (the late 1990s), gentrification hadn’t yet arrived in my Brooklyn neighborhood. And I didn’t know it growing up — but I lived in a food desert. Healthy food offerings came few and far between. At the same time, I also became aware of disparate healthcare outcomes as a function of race and class.

Through a combination of coursework and internships, I explored the connection between these issues from an academic standpoint and became eager to affect real change. After completing a public policy internship examining these issues during my time at Dartmouth, I decided to attend law school.

Because issues of social justice and public health have guided my career decisions for as long as I can remember, in 2009, I seized the opportunity to join the USDA at its headquarters in Washington DC to get an insider’s perspective on how the US regulates food and protects the public health. There, I worked on a range of issues, including — but not limited to — food safety, labeling, organic standards and biotech issues.

As a regulator, I became intimately aware of new food technologies on the horizon. Five years later, I decided to enter private practice to learn more from the other side of the table, leveraging my years of experience from the USDA. Since 2014, I’ve advised both FDA and USDA-regulated entities on a range of complex and emerging food and drug regulatory issues. And, as I’ve built my practice, I’ve focused on start-ups and household brands around the world that are mission-driven to sustainably produce foods to meet the earth’s rising population and to reduce inequities in who gets wholesome, nutritious food thereby leading to a better-fed, healthier society. In this way, I’ve been fortunate to align my personal passion with the regulatory work I do as a lawyer every day.

What are some causes you’re passionate about?

I care deeply about education and about diversity.

Education is the pillar of success on which my Caribbean immigrant family stands and has led me to where I am today. I’ve called Washington DC home for the past 11 years and during this time, I’ve mentored at-risk youth in some of the city’s most troubled neighborhoods. Today, I also serve on the Board of Trustees of the Harmony DC Public Charter School which focuses on STEM and targets Washington DC’s underserved youth.

Embracing diversity is, of course, key to success. In my role as a lawyer at a top US law firm, I work hard to help recruit black and other diverse lawyers to the food and drug field through both formal and informal outreach. Throughout my career it has proven true time and again that the best decision-making stems from teams that combine unique perspectives as a function of experiences, viewpoints, and backgrounds.

What is your favourite part of being in the legal sector?

I enjoy the people, the energy and the versatility that comes with being a regulatory lawyer. In my role as counsel, I engage with fresh-faced, high energy, brilliant scientists and policy experts in the US and around the world. Applying my knowledge of the US food regulatory framework to evolving, cutting edge technologies continuously pushes me to think outside the box.

For me, the great fun of my work is diving into the science behind the products and services my clients are developing and offering — products and services that make the world tick, and that will change the world for the better. I feel fortunate to have landed where I am today.

Where do you think regulation in the alternative protein and cell based spaces is going? What should we be aware of?

I think US regulators are making great strides in accommodating new technologies into existing frameworks. In the case of cell-based meat, for example, US regulators have moved at a record pace — holding public meetings, issuing a formal agreement outlining oversight and creating interagency working groups focused on developing the details of how the FDA and USDA will oversee this sector. It’s been remarkable to see, and I feel fortunate to be part of the evolving regulatory conversation.

Where do you see the alternative protein space going in the next 10 years? What changes are occurring in the food industry?

With reports that plant-based meats will experience a compounded annual growth rate of 28%, making it an $85 billion market in 10 years, all indications are that alternative protein — as a whole — is set for continued success. Increasingly, we’re seeing these technologies successfully pass FDA muster and we’re seeing nations around the world like China and Japan eagerly diving in to facilitate the commercialization of new technologies.

What are some cool trends and new opportunities you’ve noticed through your work? (Can be across many other industries.)

From where I sit, it has been fascinating to witness the formation of a truly global movement around the future of food. Food tech accelerators like Big Idea Ventures are leading the charge, with cohorts in New York and Singapore. In this regard, I feel fortunate to serve as a mentor to Big Idea Ventures.

The information sharing across continents will certainly serve to facilitate the increasingly rapid commercialization of new food technologies. Just last month, I gave a talk to a Japanese cohort of food tech stakeholders at Tama University’s Center for Rule-Making Strategy. In presenting and discussing the US regulatory perspective, I also obtained insight into Japan’s current thinking on the regulatory front. The evolving global regulatory conversation which necessarily meshes science and law will ideally result in regulatory frameworks across the world that set similarly stringent but not onerous rules and policy.

What are you reading these days? 

Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell and The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Tipping Point explores the science behind viral trends in business, marketing, and human behavior, and The Water Dancer speaks to some of the underlying issues that have recently been laid bare across the US as we confront systemic inequities, as a function of race, in American society. Next up on my list is Together by Vivek H. Murthy, MD.

Any advice or words of wisdom for early stage entrepreneurs?

Assemble the right team, stay organized, ask the right questions and always bring integrity to your work. As an entrepreneurial young lawyer myself — building out a growing Food & Drug practice — I abide by this very advice.

Early stage entrepreneurs would also do well to incorporate regulatory considerations into their product development strategy early and often. Doing so will serve to streamline commercialization efforts down the road.

Brian P. Sylvester is Special Counsel at Foley & Lardner LLP where he focuses his practice on Food & Drug Law.  Brian guides companies through every stage of the production and distribution lifecycle – from premarket clearance through manufacturing, advertising, labeling, recalls and unanticipated regulatory scrutiny. He has authored and co-authored a number of timely articles on trending legal issues and has been quoted by The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and Food Navigator-USA, among other leading publications. Brian obtained his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and his law degree from Cornell.

You can reach Brian at bsylvester@foley.com or follow him on Twitter @food_attorney

Greg Wiseman

The marketplace and the consumer have changed – forever. 

COVID-19 has brought structural changes to where we eat, what we eat, and who we eat it with. For those entrepreneurs that are able to see into the future of these impacts, this is a great time to bring innovation to the marketplace.

For example, many people used to take a protein bar with them to work for an afternoon snack. If they’re working from home, wouldn’t they rather have something else instead of a bar?  Wouldn’t they like something less processed but still convenient that they can grab and enjoy?

Along with consumer marketplace changes, there have also been changes to the investment strategies of venture capitalists and private equity investors. Investors are now more cautious, so early stage companies will face a more rigorous due diligence process. These investment firms still have capital to invest, but they are now looking harder at company fundamentals.

Irene Rosenfeld, former CEO of Kraft Foods, once said: “If you don’t have a competitive advantage, don’t compete.” 

The question for entrepreneurs is: What is your competitive advantage for getting funding in these times of greater due diligence scrutiny?

Many food and beverage entrepreneurs come from non-technical backgrounds such as culinary or marketing. These types of backgrounds are excellent because these entrepreneurs are typically very creative in identifying and addressing unmet consumer needs. However, having a strong consumer focus can leave the technical fundamentals of the company disregarded for too long. Investors today are less lenient and will no longer accept companies lacking in technical and strategic experience.

This points to a great opportunity and potentially strong competitive advantage for early stage food and beverage companies: have a strong technical basis for your company and talk about it in every networking conversation and in your pitch deck. Addressing the technical basis of your company early on will also set you up for smart growth by eliminating issues early and minimizing the risk of future problems by having structures in place to deal with unexpected technical challenges.

Some basic technical areas to develop include:

  • Purchase Interest for Your Product

Using an online survey, you can efficiently measure the “Top 2 Box Purchase Intent” of your target consumer as well as identify the key product features that will drive them to buy your product over the competition. These are the features that you should shout about in your product communication! You can also determine price elasticity and understand whether you can make a reasonable profit at the intersection of the price consumers are willing to pay and the volume of sales you can expect.

  • Optimize Consumer Liking 

Use statistically designed studies to identify what improves consumer liking and then find the predicted optimal level of ingredients/attributes that will make your product the best it can be.  Designed Optimization Experiments are much more efficient and faster than the “scatter shot” trial and error development that is often used. Combining consumer test learnings of key flavor and texture drivers and profiling by trained sensory panelists efficiently translates consumer language into actionable ingredient and formula solutions.

  • Certifications

Which certifications are important for your product and consumer? Choose wisely based on your target consumer rather than getting a bunch that don’t contribute to purchase intent. Certifications are resource intensive to get and to maintain so focus on the important ones first!

  • Optimize the Package for the Product

Your package design and graphics must be an excellent ambassador for your product and company. It’s the first thing the consumer will see on the shelf and it needs to compel them to pick it up and learn more! Beyond the graphics, the package must do an excellent job of protecting the product during distribution and helping it maintain shelf life. Finally, is it optimized for the lowest possible cost while still achieving the critical requirements above?

  • Shelf Life

Is your product formula, package and code date designed for maximum food safety and sensory quality? How did you validate the microbiological safety and the sensory attributes over shelf life?

More advanced areas can include:

  • Project Management

Are you efficiently developing and commercializing your innovation by using a project timeline with clear activities, milestones, success criteria, assigned accountability and due dates? There’s a great quote attributed to Peter Drucker that says “What gets measured gets done.” Without knowing what needs to get done and who is going to do it, things don’t get done efficiently!

  • Formula Optimization for Scale

Can the product you made on the bench be commercially manufactured at scale for distribution? How will it be made and have you assessed the risks of undesirable product defects from manufacturing?

  • Supply Chain Optimization for Scale

Are ingredients available in the quantities needed for your sales volume? If you’re using unique ingredients or ingredients made in another country, how quickly can the supply respond and grow with your success?

  • Cost Optimization

Early on, you’re likely going to have high costs due to the relatively small scale of your company. Have you reduced your costs as much as possible to maximize your margins in order to make investment from others more attractive? What are your future plans to reduce formula, packaging and processing costs without changing quality?

  1. Intellectual Property

If you’ve done some or all of the things above to develop the technical depth of your company, how are you going to protect that information? What strategies will you use and do you have the appropriate systems in place to protect it?

As just one example of how a technical area can be developed early on, consider this and see if it sounds like your company:

Many entrepreneurs put their first formula into the marketplace very quickly in order to get consumer feedback and be first to market. They’re willing to sacrifice optimization of the product for speed to market but potentially risk alienation if the consumer doesn’t like it and decides to never purchase it again. While large CPG companies can be faulted for over-testing and trying to get a product perfect before launching, there’s a happy middle ground between high quality and speed to market. A simple experimental design can efficiently predict the optimal levels of ingredients to achieve a product that consumers will love and purchase again.

All of the technical areas above can easily be addressed by leveraging people from your network with the right knowledge or by engaging a consultant with a strong technical background. The time and resources you invest early on to develop a strong technical basis for your company will set you apart from others during conversations about potential funding!

If you’re not sure where to start, feel free to contact me at gwisemanconsulting@gmail.com for a pro bono consultation.

 

Greg is a Research and Development Consultant and Innovator with extensive Product Development, Project Management and Strategy experience. He’s known for his strong expertise in food/beverage formula and process development as well as project management and commercialization to deliver innovation and drive growth.

He’s worked for and with many Fortune 100 companies including Kraft Foods, Starbucks, McDonalds and Nature’s Bounty as well as early stage start-ups.

Greg is also an entrepreneur having ideated, patented and successfully commercialized a repositionable magnetic frame hanging system – Gallery Magic®.  He achieved nation-wide distribution in Ace Hardware and a five-star rating on Amazon and on The Grommet.

gwisemanconsulting@gmail.com

https://www.linkedin.com/in/gman-wiseman/

http://5starfoodconsulting.com

By Michael Berro, Partner and Distribution Expert at Big Idea Ventures.

 

Hopefully if you’re reading this, you’re staying home and staying safe during these times. If you are a startup, you’re probably wondering how to allocate your time when having in-person meetings is almost impossible. Here are six tactics to help you build a great distribution strategy from the safety of your home.

 

1. Create a target list. What stores and distributors do you want to be in over the next 90, 180 and 360 days? List them out by tab and put together a plan to secure them.

Create different tabs by trade channel, account size and desired date. This will help you work on sales forecasts and working capital models. In most startups, the more business you win, the more capital you are going to need. Take advantage of the extra screen time to determine how much capital you are going to need over the short, medium and long-term. We’ve seen more startups fail from running out of money than we have from slower-than-expected growth. After you’ve completed your financial and working capital models, you will also be in a much better position to raise capital from potential investors who will see that you have a buttoned-up business plan.

 

2. Get on LinkedIn. If you’re stuck at home, so are the buyers that you want to meet with or speak to. Connect with them and send them information about your products.

Refer to the tabs that you created and start reaching out to the people who can help move the needle in your business. Start connecting with buyers of desired accounts and potential brokers and sales reps for your products. If you can’t find some of the contacts that you need to move your business to the next level, ask for help on LinkedIn or other social media sites. There is almost certainly someone in your network that can help you with the connections you need.

 

3. Set up Appointments. When the virus is over, everyone will be looking to set up appointments with key retailers and wholesalers. Buyers will be buried with requests and catching up when they get back to the office. Now is the time to get on buyers’ calendars for June, July and August before the rest of the world does.

In addition to getting a head start on your competitors for buyers’ time and attention, you’re also demonstrating a tremendous amount of initiative that will be valued by your potential customers. In addition to helping you grow your business, showing this meeting calendar along with the aforementioned financial models will make your company look like a much more secure investment.

 

4. Reach out to potential investors. Yes, this is a difficult time to ask people for money, but that doesn’t mean you’re wasting your time by speaking to them. 

In order to get someone to write you a check, especially a large one, the first thing you need to do is get on their radar. When you’re done using your extra time to improve your sales deck, improve your investor deck, tighten up your projections, and lock in appointments, the next thing to do is to start telling people how awesome your business will be when all of this is over. Find strategic investors who will tell you “if you do half of this stuff, please come back to me!” Then, go out and make it happen.

 

5. Create a consumer email database. This tactic can not only grow your e-commerce business, but will also allow you to reach your consumers during these trying times to communicate with them about product delays, personnel changes, and any other important changes that may be occurring.

There are a bunch of ways to grow your database: offer raffles for customers to send you their email addresses, go through all of your emails while you are stuck at home to make sure any potential customers are in your database, and ask customers on your website and social media to sign up to receive emails about exclusive news and promotions.

 

Don’t panic. Every challenge is an opportunity. If you’re taking steps to grow your business while others are sitting idle, you will be well-positioned for success.

The only things we should worry about in life and business are the things that we can control. If you’re stuck inside for the next two weeks or two months, the only thing you should worry about is maximizing your time.

Alicia Grayeb

 

You hear conversations starting with: “Once everything goes back to normal… “, “I cannot wait to retake my normal life”, and “When are we going back to normal?”.

The truth is, what we know as normal or “business as usual” should not be something we aspire to go back to. We need to shift from a consumerist approach to a planet and people-oriented one. That means a shift in behaviour from always acquiring more to getting only what is essential. This pandemic has revealed the value of time spent with people and the importance of our health. Suddenly, a luxurious life is not as important as being able to help our neighbors and keep our communities healthy. It has also shown us that our economy is fragile and faulty. Millennials have already experienced three economic crises– the internet bubble, the 2009 recession, and the current pandemic– and we haven’t even lived half our lives yet!

On a personal level, we can learn from the pandemic and start supporting local businesses more than ever. We have learned that buying fast-fashion, non-essential clothing is not as important as we once thought. We have learned to appreciate our freedom and what it is like to be in confinement. We have seen that a halt to all non-essential activities has restored the flora and fauna in many countries, allowing animals to roam freely. Our oceans and air are getting cleaner and our planet has been able to breathe again.

Why do we want to go back to a world where our goods are shipped from miles away, made using non-renewable resources that will take thousands of years to biodegrade? Why do we want to go back to a world where companies are depleting the Earth of its resources and capability to restore itself, a world where companies’ main focus is growing their bottom lines? We need to take this opportunity to go back to a world where we live and breathe Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). What do I mean by this? Simply that businesses should thrive without compromising the ability of the planet to regenerate itself, in turn bettering society.

We have read numerous times about what we can do as consumers to raise our voice and demand companies to be greener. This post is not directed to you, the consumer. This is for the organizations out there, and most importantly, for the startups. Founders need to embrace a triple bottom line strategy that fully considers the wellbeing of the planet all the stakeholders of the business. This does not mean startups should not thrive or grow. Since startups excel at doing more with fewer resources, they can prosper without compromising our planet and our communities.

 

How can CSR help startups thrive?

CSR policies are the steps organizations take that go beyond what companies are legally bound to report, to better the environment and society. Startups can start to do this through a series of simple steps, both in their internal and external operations.

Internal Operations:

  1. Encouraging mental wellness: Check in on your team. Are they motivated? On the brink of burnout? Do they need a break? We are all dealing with things we never have before, both on a personal and professional level. Be flexible with their time, trust they will do their part of the job, and show them you trust them. There is no need for non-essential micromanagement and daily calls to “show results”. Give them time to breathe and stay healthy so they can, in turn, be productive and happy to be part of the team. Needless to say a 9-5, five days a week is a thing of the past! Besides, if people can work from home, they mitigate carbon emissions: less transport usage and less traffic, as well as less use of buildings and office space.
  2. Providing financial security: An honest reassurance that your team’s jobs are not immediately at stake, or that you can help them apply for assistance if needed, will take a big burden off of their shoulders. Also, make sure you are giving your team fair and competitive remuneration for their work. It is easy to feel undervalued by getting an uncompetitive paycheck compared to similar posts in other organizations.
  3. Fewer emails: Keep emails to what they are: a formal e-letter. Use other media for other non-relevant communications like built-in chat apps and text messages. If something is absolutely urgent, consider a phone call.  Emails are hardly ever the best way to get urgent things done. Environmentally speaking, a small change like sending fewer emails can help you substantially reduce your startup’s carbon footprint. On average, a year’s worth of emails per person in terms of CO2 emissions is roughly equivalent to taking three round-trip flights from New York to Toronto.
  4. Keep your server farms local: The rooms where servers are stored get hot, especially if thousands of servers are kept in one place by a company like Google Cloud, Dropbox, or AWS. Keeping your own servers also means more data security for you and your clients. Remember, if you build your own solutions, you own all of your data and avoid data collection and replication by third parties. If you keep your data to yourself, you also disrupt global supply chains. A good example is the use of a CRM platform. Can you build your own or use an open-source, local platform? Maybe you can choose a firm that can ensure the security of your data and your clients’ personal information and whose servers are not stored with thousands others, thus emitting a considerably smaller amount of CO2. It is very tempting to go for the big companies that offer huge discounts to hook you on their systems, but then make it almost impossible to leave because of data transferability. Cheap sometimes gets very expensive in the long run. If you still need to partner with big companies, make sure they have an honest CSR strategy in place and are not implementing greenwashing practices.

 

External Operations

  1. Support small businesses: Make sure you get your supplies from as many local businesses as possible. This helps to strengthen the economic environment of your community and to create trust among your team and customers. Most of the time, supporting local businesses also means helping the environment, as their products are typically less resource-intensive.
  2. Partner strategically: As a startup, you need to make sure that the ideas and values of the people and organizations you partner with are in line with your values and with the planet. Remember, partnerships are mutually beneficial.
  3. Adapt and be resilient: Always be aware of what the market trends are and what matters to your current and potential customers. Can you shift some or all of your current solutions to get ahead of the game and help solve the current pressing issues with health and the environment? Maybe your technology can be transferred to make hand sanitizer or biodegradable face masks– for example, some companies in the liquor and oil cleaning sectors have transformed their operations to produce hand sanitizer.

 

Decision-making that considers the market, the community, and society at large is critical to sustaining relevance. Anticipate and share. Learn how to be proactive and not reactive and beware of disruptive evolutions to make them work for you and your startup. Be ready to face disruption and not fight against it, as it is inevitable. Remember, these times are not the new normal– they are a preview of what things could be like in terms of environmental benefits. You, as startup founders, have the power to help create what the new normal will be in a world where we embrace the planet and put society and the environment before economic growth.

 

 

Alicia Grayeb is a sustainability professional and advocate speaker. She supervises early stage startups at the Venn Garage in Venn Innovation in Atlantic Canada. Alicia’s focus is to make companies embrace Corporate Sustainability and promote a greener economy.

You can follow Alicia on Twitter: @alicegyb and on LinkedIn

 

Some other third party related useful reads: 

Alicia Grayeb

You hear conversations starting with: “Once everything goes back to normal… “, “I cannot wait to retake my normal life”, and “When are we going back to normal?”.

The truth is, what we know as normal or “business as usual” should not be something we aspire to go back to. We need to shift from a consumerist approach to a planet and people-oriented one. That means a shift in behaviour from always acquiring more to getting only what is essential. This pandemic has revealed the value of time spent with people and the importance of our health. Suddenly, a luxurious life is not as important as being able to help our neighbors and keep our communities healthy. It has also shown us that our economy is fragile and faulty. Millennials have already experienced three economic crises– the internet bubble, the 2009 recession, and the current pandemic– and we haven’t even lived half our lives yet!

On a personal level, we can learn from the pandemic and start supporting local businesses more than ever. We have learned that buying fast-fashion, non-essential clothing is not as important as we once thought. We have learned to appreciate our freedom and what it is like to be in confinement. We have seen that a halt to all non-essential activities has restored the flora and fauna in many countries, allowing animals to roam freely. Our oceans and air are getting cleaner and our planet has been able to breathe again.

Why do we want to go back to a world where our goods are shipped from miles away, made using non-renewable resources that will take thousands of years to biodegrade? Why do we want to go back to a world where companies are depleting the Earth of its resources and capability to restore itself, a world where companies’ main focus is growing their bottom lines? We need to take this opportunity to go back to a world where we live and breathe Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). What do I mean by this? Simply that businesses should thrive without compromising the ability of the planet to regenerate itself, in turn bettering society.

We have read numerous times about what we can do as consumers to raise our voice and demand companies to be greener. This post is not directed to you, the consumer. This is for the organizations out there, and most importantly, for the startups. Founders need to embrace a triple bottom line strategy that fully considers the wellbeing of the planet all the stakeholders of the business. This does not mean startups should not thrive or grow. Since startups excel at doing more with fewer resources, they can prosper without compromising our planet and our communities.

How can CSR help startups thrive?

CSR policies are the steps organizations take that go beyond what companies are legally bound to report, to better the environment and society. Startups can start to do this through a series of simple steps, both in their internal and external operations.

Internal Operations:

  1. Encouraging mental wellness: Check in on your team. Are they motivated? On the brink of burnout? Do they need a break? We are all dealing with things we never have before, both on a personal and professional level. Be flexible with their time, trust they will do their part of the job, and show them you trust them. There is no need for non-essential micromanagement and daily calls to “show results”. Give them time to breathe and stay healthy so they can, in turn, be productive and happy to be part of the team. Needless to say a 9-5, five days a week is a thing of the past! Besides, if people can work from home, they mitigate carbon emissions: less transport usage and less traffic, as well as less use of buildings and office space.
  2. Providing financial security: An honest reassurance that your team’s jobs are not immediately at stake, or that you can help them apply for assistance if needed, will take a big burden off of their shoulders. Also, make sure you are giving your team fair and competitive remuneration for their work. It is easy to feel undervalued by getting an uncompetitive paycheck compared to similar posts in other organizations.
  3. Fewer emails: Keep emails to what they are: a formal e-letter. Use other media for other non-relevant communications like built-in chat apps and text messages. If something is absolutely urgent, consider a phone call.  Emails are hardly ever the best way to get urgent things done. Environmentally speaking, a small change like sending fewer emails can help you substantially reduce your startup’s carbon footprint. On average, a year’s worth of emails per person in terms of CO2 emissions is roughly equivalent to taking three round-trip flights from New York to Toronto.
  4. Keep your server farms local: The rooms where servers are stored get hot, especially if thousands of servers are kept in one place by a company like Google Cloud, Dropbox, or AWS. Keeping your own servers also means more data security for you and your clients. Remember, if you build your own solutions, you own all of your data and avoid data collection and replication by third parties. If you keep your data to yourself, you also disrupt global supply chains. A good example is the use of a CRM platform. Can you build your own or use an open-source, local platform? Maybe you can choose a firm that can ensure the security of your data and your clients’ personal information and whose servers are not stored with thousands others, thus emitting a considerably smaller amount of CO2. It is very tempting to go for the big companies that offer huge discounts to hook you on their systems, but then make it almost impossible to leave because of data transferability. Cheap sometimes gets very expensive in the long run. If you still need to partner with big companies, make sure they have an honest CSR strategy in place and are not implementing greenwashing practices.

External Operations

  1. Support small businesses: Make sure you get your supplies from as many local businesses as possible. This helps to strengthen the economic environment of your community and to create trust among your team and customers. Most of the time, supporting local businesses also means helping the environment, as their products are typically less resource-intensive.
  2. Partner strategically: As a startup, you need to make sure that the ideas and values of the people and organizations you partner with are in line with your values and with the planet. Remember, partnerships are mutually beneficial.
  3. Adapt and be resilient: Always be aware of what the market trends are and what matters to your current and potential customers. Can you shift some or all of your current solutions to get ahead of the game and help solve the current pressing issues with health and the environment? Maybe your technology can be transferred to make hand sanitizer or biodegradable face masks– for example, some companies in the liquor and oil cleaning sectors have transformed their operations to produce hand sanitizer.

Decision-making that considers the market, the community, and society at large is critical to sustaining relevance. Anticipate and share. Learn how to be proactive and not reactive and beware of disruptive evolutions to make them work for you and your startup. Be ready to face disruption and not fight against it, as it is inevitable. Remember, these times are not the new normal– they are a preview of what things could be like in terms of environmental benefits. You, as startup founders, have the power to help create what the new normal will be in a world where we embrace the planet and put society and the environment before economic growth.

Alicia Grayeb is a sustainability professional and advocate speaker. She supervises early stage startups at the Venn Garage in Venn Innovation in Atlantic Canada. Alicia’s focus is to make companies embrace Corporate Sustainability and promote a greener economy.

You can follow Alicia on Twitter: @alicegyb and on LinkedIn

Some other third party related useful reads: 

By David Postolski from Gearhart Law

As sophisticated science makes it possible to produce new products that taste even better than the foods we’ve come to love, alternative protein startups are making their impact around the world.  And of course, with innovation comes intellectual property protection: the only solution in the U.S. and abroad if you want to protect your process, products, methods, and services from copycats and infringers.  It also acts as a barrier of entry to firms seeking to fill the same need as your entrepreneurial food venture. But how do you go from idea to protected property?

Patents

If you make something that is both novel and non-obvious, in other words, sufficiently inventive, compared to what is already in the marketplace, you can register your idea as an invention with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), through a patent application filing. The process to obtain a grant of your patent application filing takes about three years and usually begins with a worldwide search to figure out what exactly distinguishes your product and what aspects are protectable.  A patent attorney will help you by drafting the proper documents to prove your idea is patent-worthy. Being awarded a U.S. patent grants you the sole right to exclude someone else from making, using, or selling your invention in the U.S.  However, this right will last for 20 years from the day you file and is not renewable.  Such patent rights can be filed in different countries, but inventors/companies only have a limited time to do so!  Like other emerging technologies such as cannabis, software, and the life sciences, obtaining a patent is becoming the gold standard in the world of plant-based products and technologies. Without something truly unique and protected, how enduring can you be?

Trademarks

You’ve heard it before and it rings true in the plant-based and food industries as well– it’s ALL ABOUT THE BRANDING!   Branding is equally as important as the product itself, and this is especially true for food companies. In the world of marketing, the term “brand” is broad. But in IP, it is defined as “a symbol, word, or words legally registered or established by use as representing a company or product”. We call this a trademark.

Like patents, trademarks are only approved if no one has filed for the same brand or a brand that consumers may find confusingly similar. If someone has, then you may need to add a unique logo. Selling a different type of good or service under an existing name may be permissible, but the original trademark holder may believe that consumers could confuse the two products, and are often not okay with that possibility. A golden rule is to steer clear of generic and descriptive words and logos (such as pictures of plants!).  Your trademark should have a suggestive meaning or an arbitrary meaning to the actual product or service you are making. Making your brand distinct enough to stand out on a shelf and in the digital marketplace is hard!  A distinctive brand is not just good for marketing; it is the safest way to achieve a federal U.S. trademark, which can also be filed in other countries. This U.S. right lasts for 10 years and is renewable for 10-year periods in perpetuity.

Copyrights

The last type of intellectual property is copyright, which protects any sort of creative work that is both original and in a fixed medium. In the food world, recipes are not protectable by copyright, but the creative content that your company generates – such as website content, marketing materials, blogs, original artworks, and designs – are!  This fact is often overlooked, but registering your creative works with the copyright office first is a must. With a copyright, you are simply registering your work without much investigation by the copyright office. If your copyright registration holds up against scrutiny as being original, then it will last the creator’s lifetime, plus 70 years.

Trade Secrets

Another popular form of federal IP protection in the alternative protein and larger food industry is trade secret protection. A trade secret can be a formula, practice, recipe, process, design, instrument, pattern, or compilation of information, which is not generally known or reasonably ascertainable, by which a business can obtain an economic advantage over competitors or customers. It is often a food company’s confidential or classified information. If you can keep it a secret and treat it as such to the world (this is harder than some companies realize) and internally with processes and non-disclosure agreements, the court will protect it as a secret if someone should misappropriate or steal it from you. Your secret does not expire like a patent and there are no federal registration costs. Of course, there are costs associated with processes and procedures for ensuring what you have is indeed a secret and protected as such.

In the alternative protein and plant-based industry, unconventional and non-obvious ingredients, cooking practices and methods are indeed novel and patentable, especially if they create unexpected results and discoveries not yet seen. The scientific, physiological, and physical aspects of the food you create from existing ingredients, or unexpected and not-so-obvious ingredients, can lead to patents that you can protect and monetize through your company.  Where branding is integral to digital marketing and internet traffic, it is essential that a trademark is cleared for use before actually using it.  The worst news to deliver to a brand owner is that the money they spent on their brand is all for naught as another company already has a trademark registration for a similar name or logo.  Food companies must understand the consequences of their marketing efforts in copyright when using social media sites and posting public content.  Understanding the value of copyright in what you create and how you publish it may determine your ability to control and monetize your copyrighted creative works.

Plant based products and alternative protein technologies are not just the new kid on the block anymore– they are here to stay. This should mean an adherence to the current regulatory schemes of intellectual property rights!

For more information on any of the above, please contact David Postolski at david@gearhartlaw.com

Co-hosted by Evolve.ag and Big Idea Ventures, this event will offer insights from experts on how to propel cell ag into the future.

About this Event

In this free, one-hour long roundtable, you’ll hear from Singapore’s pioneers in the cellular agriculture sector:

Fengru Lin – TurtleTree

Vin Srinivas – Gaia Foods

Dr. Sandhya Sriram – Shiok Meats

Dr. Matthew Zhao – Big Idea Ventures

We’ll examine how Singapore became the first country in the world to commercially approve cellular agriculture, also known as cultured meat or lab-grown protein, for human consumption. We’ll also discuss the regulatory environment of cellular agriculture, food safety, and consumer perception.

OPENING CONVERSATION: WHAT’S NEXT FOR FOOD’S MOST VIBRANT GROWTH MARKET?

Impossible Foods raised $200 million in 2020 at a valuation of over $4 Billion.  Is this insanity or a massive trend you can’t miss?   Come hear three panelists at the forefront of plant-based foods talk about the innovation imperatives for the industry and where they see the next wave of growth. 

The Joseph Priestley Society welcomes a panel of industry leaders for a virtual discussion about the development and commercialization of nonanimal foods.

Print ad for Dow depicting woman buying groceries, 1952Dow Chemical Company print advertisement: “Food…fit for an American,” May 24, 1952.

Science History Institute

 

In recent years the number of people pursuing flexitarian, vegetarian, and vegan lifestyles has risen. In response several start-up and established companies are developing and commercializing nonanimal foods to provide alternatives to animal-based meat. The technology follows one of two paths—either formulating plant-based products or using cell cultures to “grow” meat.

This program will bring together representatives from companies active in the field, discussing this sector’s growth and the challenges to consumer adoption of alternative meats. Technical challenges aside, these companies must also address regulatory, economic, and consumer-perception hurdles.

Attendees will come away with a better understanding of the most significant transformation of the food industry in decades and how it will affect peoples’ dietary choices in the future.

“Neither Fish nor Fowl” is this year’s Ralph Connor Memorial Lecture, created by the Science History Institute to showcase periodic addresses on the role of research in the development of technology and industry by eminent practitioners in the chemical and molecular sciences.

This event is coproduced by the American Chemical Society as part of its ACS Webinars series.

Panelists

Big Idea Ventures (BIV) is solving the World’s Biggest Challenges by supporting the World’s Best Entrepreneurs. It is a venture capital fund with startup accelerators in key locations, investing in and accelerating top performers in the new food space.

The first fund of BIV, The New Protein Fund I (size U$50M), is investing in the most innovative companies working on plant-based & cell-based meat, seafood and dairy products, as well as ingredients and technologies that facilitate the growth of these categories. BIV combines capital, mentorship and a strong ecosystem of partners to support and grow the world’s most compelling plant-based and cell-based alternative protein companies.

Feb 5, 2021 02:00 PM in Singapore

Lorem ipsum | Vietnam | cesiscompany.vn

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